My family and I had dinner with Evan Doyle last night. He was in town for a few days this week and it’s always good to see him. Last summer he spent 8 weeks with me as an intern for our kid’s ministry.
We had several great conversations about curriculum, resources and the fact that the 90’s lacked great music. However, he asked a really compelling question that’s had me thinking all day. We’ve talked a lot about family ministry and efforts we’re taking to connect with families. His question was, “What are you all doing to help families of single parents or blended families?”
I honestly couldn’t give him a great answer. It’s not to say we’re not doing a lot of great things for families and how we’re developing strategy to equip families, regardless of whether they’re conventional, blended or single parent families. But we’re not doing anything in particular for single/blended families. Actually, what alarmed me the most was my family bias. A few years ago I tested out some material by creating a parenting small group and worked through a study. Every family I invited was a conventional family. Sometime this summer or fall, I’m going to be doing some more work with family resources and I can’t tell you that I’ve given any thought to inviting any single parent. This alarmed me because I think I have a bias when I think of family… and that’s wrong.
Reggie Joiner shares this a stat often. Only 23.5% of kids live with both of their biological parents. I think its a real problem that I have the bias that I do. The funny thing too is that I grew up in a blended family. My half-brothers were a lot older than me, so it didn’t really feel much like a blended family. I don’t know… it was just a good wake-up call and reminder to me, something I need to work on. I’m not convinced that I need to start up programs or develop events specifically for single parents, but when I think about family, I need to look through a different lens than what comes natural for me.
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